Pubdate: 13 March 1999
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 1999 Chicago Tribune Company
Author: Ron Leamon
Note: responding to Mayor Richard Daley's announcement 
         that he would copy New York City's plan to confiscate
         the cars of suspected drunk drivers.


VERNON HILLS -- So Mayor Richard Daley wants to start seizing cars of
suspected DUI drivers before they are convicted. This does not
surprise me a bit. The DUI law has had one goal all along--not to keep
drunk drivers off the road but to bring in revenue to the local
government. A fine of $2,000 or more for a first offense was good
money, and a great deterrent. In fact it worked so well that tickets
being issued for DUI went way down all across the country. When the
government began to miss this windfall of money, they lowered the
point level that a person could be considered DUI. This again started
the money rolling in.

Guess what? This was a great deterrent, too; again the money started
to dry up. The government dares not lower the level again because that
would give the impression that the government is in the prohibition

Now the mayor wants to seize cars of suspected drunk drivers. They
don't even have to prove that a person is drunk to take his car. This
is a wonderful plan for the government. One car equals about eight DUI
tickets money-wise, and they don't even have to prove you're guilty.

When seizing cars becomes a great deterrent, maybe the government will
seize homes.

Ron Leamon
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